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Let light in or pay the penalty


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Motorists with heavily-tinted windscreens could find themselves fined Ј60 and have their driving licences endorsed with penalty points as part of a police drive to reduce road casualties across the county.

The warning comes as road policing officers hit the streets with their new equipment during this summer, with a view to educating drivers before they fall foul of the law and ahead of any collision.

The light standard for vehicle glass states that front windscreens must allow at least 75 per cent of light through, while front-seat windows must admit 70 per cent. All vehicle manufacturers adhere to these guidelines, but tinted film purchased at retail outlets can fall foul of the standards.

Road policing Sgt Richard Raker, based force headquarters, said: ?Drivers can tell if their windows are already tinted to the maximum, legal limit by looking for the AS2 configuration which would be in one of the four corners of the glass. Usually, the tint film is laid on to the glass and, depending on the light levels, road policing officers will take a decision at the roadside as to how to best solve the problem.?

Those vehicles found to allow considerably less than the minimum legal limits of light through will be prohibited from travelling any further, with drivers fined Ј60 and their licences endorsed with three points.

One road policing officer from south Essex stopped a vehicle which only allowed five per cent of light through ? a dangerous enough condition to warrant a prosecution for dangerous driving.

Sgt Raker added: ?As well as reducing the obvious risk of injury to pedestrians and other road users, we are trying to ensure that drivers don?t become victims themselves as overly-tinted windows can actually sometimes invalidate the person?s car insurance. It?s not fair on the motorist if they don?t know the rules and by publicising the laws surrounding tinted windows, we are giving them every opportunity to escape punishment as well as saving lives.?

All six road policing units across Essex now have Tint Man technology, with officers determined to put an end to the needlessly high number of avoidable crashes.

May 23, 2004My Webpage

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